I wanted to give you the world
or at least your hearts desire.
And so I went looking for a card
that would say my heart,
and ended up
in the drawer
of old photographs,
where I was drawn into
the dusty, cracked
black and white past.
The steps to the second floor
echoed as if I had
just run up and down them.
There, was the band aid on my knee,
and my mother in full skirt
with breasts that are mine now,
and my father with the tender love for
baby me in his eyes,
the rhythm of the steps
the slam of a door
the creak of the floor in the hall
then there was you
in angry red faced splendor
slipping from a scream
into my life
love at first sight.
I wish for you a drawer,
for birthdays are like those steps,
always taking you up,
the way you climb is up to you.
You can hold on to the banister
and move carefully,
or you can pause and take a breath.
You can go back down and start over,
or sit and bump down on your bottom.
But, to get to the second floor
ascend you must.
Here’s an empty drawer to fill now
with that rock and shell from summer last
with smiles and laughter
safe and sound under the black lace mantilla
next to the sachet, that parts from me
the rest is up to you.